“That’s a wrap.” UFC President Dana White has finally put his foot down and put an end to the idea of B.J. Penn returning to the octagon, after granting Penn a fight with Nik Lentz that was expected to take place later this year.
Finally coming around to what most pundits and fight fans have known for a while, Dana White has admitted that B.J. Penn should not be fighting. And following a pair of videos depicting Penn in altercations outside bars/clubs in his native Hawaii, White is pulling the plug on Penn’s scheduled fight with Nik Lentz.
Penn addressed the incidents just yesterday, downplaying them in an interview with Canada’s TSN. However, there’s no getting around the fact that if you’re scrapping in parking lots, you shouldn’t be fighting professionally.
Speaking to ESPN’s Brett Okamoto in Abu Dhabi ahead of UFC 242, White said that “he won’t fight again.”
“That’s a wrap,” he added. “It’s not even that this is the last straw. It’s — I didn’t love him continuing to fight anyway. But when you have the relationship that he and I have, and he’s getting me on the phone, begging me for another fight, begging me for another opportunity, it’s hard for me to turn him down. But after what I saw on that video, he needs to focus on his personal life and get himself together before he thinks about fighting again.”
“I haven’t personally, but we have as a company,” White said when asked if Penn had been notified of the decision.
“I don’t wanna sit here on TV and pick B.J. apart on his life or whatever. I think that we all know what B.J. Penn needs to do and hopefully B.J. Penn knows what B.J. Penn needs to do. I’m not gonna sit here like I’m his father or I’m some guy who’s above him, pointing the finger at B.J. and B.J. needs to do this and that. What I saw in that video was sad. I love the kid and I hope he gets his life together.”
White also seemingly reached out to Penn in the video, or at least left the door open to help the fighter in ways other than allowing him to compete. “Obviously the guy calls me and I’m still putting him in fights. If B.J. Penn needed me, all he’s got to do is pick up the phone and ask.”